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Tampa Bay Rays vs Houston Astros Game Preview: Alex Cobb vs Charlie Morton

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The Rays get set to take on the top team in the American League

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Trade Deadline has come and passed with a minor shakeup to the Rays roster as they dealt Tim Beckham to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a minor leaguer. The first game the Rays will play in the post-Beckham era will be against the team with the best record in the American League, the Houston Astros.

The Rays are coming off a disappointing series in New York where they dropped three of four, with two of those losses coming in walk-off fashion. They’ll look to build momentum from their Sunday victory. The Rays are currently 54-52 on the season, have lost seven of their past 10 games. They are now 3.5 games back of the New York Yankees for the division lead, while they’re 2.5 games back in the Wild Card chase, but with no teams between them and the second Wild Card team.

The Astros meanwhile are a lock for the post season as they have built a 16 game lead in the AL West, with a record of 68-36.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb will look to continue his two month run of dominance, having allowed just 16 earned runs over his last nine starts. He is averaging over seven innings a start during this run as well. His last time out came on the 26th against Baltimore when he allowed a run — via a solo homer — on four hits, while he walked one and struck out six over seven innings pitched.

Charlie Morton has the start for the Astros and he’s having a solid year in the backend of the Astros rotation. He’s averaging just under six innings per start with a 3.83 ERA / 3.95 FIP to go along with a 26.1 K% and 8.8 BB%. He has been extremely effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .261 wOBA, compared to righties (.363 wOBA).

His last time out was one of the best of his career as he shutdown the Phillies for seven innings, yielding just three hits and a walk, while he racked up nine strikeouts.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Corey Dickerson - LF Derek Fisher - RF
Lucas Duda - 1B Jose Altuve - 2B
Evan Longoria - 3B Yulieski Gurriel - 3B
Logan Morrison - DH Brian McCann - C
Steven Souza - RF Evan Gattis - DH
Brad Miller - 2B Carlos Beltran - LF
Wilson Ramos - C Alex Bregman - SS
Mallex Smith - CF Tyler White - 1B
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Jake Marisnick - CF
Alex Cobb - RHP Charlie Morton - RHP